Navigating FearFul and FearLess
by Tanja Bogataj
Leadership and Transformational Coach and Consultant | Founder and Practitioner of #bepowerfulandfree approach | Host of #bepowerfulandfree Platform
One of the things that I’m grateful for working with high achievers and people who are focused on constant growth and improvement is the opportunity to constantly explore fears and how they can be sometimes motivators and sometimes blocks for learning, growth and progress.
‘On the journey of becoming we realize our fears…
It’s not about disappearing into the ocean, but of becoming the ocean.’
Fear by Khalil Gibran
I was inspired by the natural shift which has happened when all the world was in the COVID-19 pandemic state. My clients intuitively suggested if we can just talk. Talk about fears, and what’s going on, what’s emerging, what’s changing. Not forcing it into any direction, just talking and being with what we’ve been experiencing.
They spontaneously asked for safe space to explore and feel the fear and what’s around, and not asking for help with ‘I have to get rid of my fears’, ‘I need to be fearless’ or ‘I want to / have to conquer this fear’’. It seemed that the opposite, trying to conquer it or wanting to be fearless whatever that might be in a situation, would be cheating on the experience itself, on the potential and on the opportunity of their experience.
‘Overcome fears to be really free’ as Aristotel said (‘He who has overcome fears will really be free.’), got a new meaning. The freedom got a new depth by liberating ourselves of the known, the certain and the already learned. It opened the broader horizon between fearful and fearless. It created new opportunities to navigate among all variations in between.
‘What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.’
Word ‘fear’ is usually described as ‘an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm’. I prefer the interpretation I’ve read somewhere – if we are afraid (feel the fear), it means something (for us) important is going to happen.
Navigating takes active role from us, it takes (self-)leadership. One can not do it in advance. One needs to be present, and meet the fear. With that, one is closer to being fearful, than being fearless. And if you see it like this, fearful and fearless are just extremes.
What being fearless really mean? Being without fears? That might mean not doing anything new and staying in a safe, well known environment or deciding to act in the same way regardless of circumstances.
I invite you to trust yourself and go exploring. Navigate between fearful and fearless, while realizing your fears on the journey of your becoming.